Monday, August 29, 2016

AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE NOTES

DEFINITION OF AGRICULTURE
Agriculture is the cultivation of crops and production of animals for human use.
IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE TO NATIONAL ECONOMY
Agriculture plays important roles in the development of the nation and its economy, such roles include:-
PROVISION OF FOOD
Agriculture provides food for the citizens, it ensures a well fed population and this encourages the citizens to work in different field and sectors for the overall growth of the nation’s economy.
PROVISION OF RAW MATERIALS FOR INDUSTRIES
Agriculture provides different types of raw materials for industries; these raw materials are used in production of goods that are sold to the citizens for their use. This reduces the rate of importation and aid the growth of the economy. The raw materials include fiber, hide and skin, cotton, wood pulp, cocoa, rubber etc,
PROVISION OF EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Agriculture provides employment for significant proportion of Nigeria population, it has been estimated that over 70% of Nigeria population are engaged in agriculturally based occupation. Employment opportunities provided by agriculture enables workers to earn their living and contributes in their own different ways to the development of the nation.



SOURCE OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Agriculture brings about exchange of currency between Nigeria and other countries through exportation of agricultural produce. This type of exchange of currency earns Nigeria foreign currencies with which we can trade with other countries. This type of trade (International trade) leads to the growth of Nigeria economy.
SOURCE OF REVENUE TO GOVERNMENT
Agriculture serves as source of revenue for government. Farmers pay their taxes, grading fee, license free e.t.c and government uses the fund in provision of basic amenities and infrastructures for the citizens, Government still realize some money from amenities and infrastructure provided and this improves our economy.
SOURCE OF INCOME TO FARMERS   
Agriculture provides money for the farmers, when farmers sells their produce they get money to live good life, pay children’s school fees e.t.c. This improves their lives and improve the economy as well.
AGRICULTURE PROVIDES MARKET FOR INDUSTRIAL PRODUCT
Agriculture provides markets for some of the products produced by industries, these products are used for agricultural production they include fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, tractor, incubator e.t.c.
BRANCHES/AREAS OF SPECIALISATION IN AGRICULTURE

1.   CROP PRODUCTION
2.   ANIMAL PRODUCTION
3.   SOIL SCIENCE
4.   AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING
5.   AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION
6.   FISHERY
7.   FORESTRY
8.   AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
9.      HORTICULTURE

TYPES OF AGRICULTURE
There are two types of agriculture:
1.           SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE
Subsistence agriculture is a form of agriculture where the farmer cultivates mainly for the consumption of himself and his immediate family with little or nothing for sale.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE
1.   Small area/size of land is required
2.   Labour is supplied by farmer and his family
3.   It involves little capital
4.   Simple farm tools are used for cultivation
5.   The yield/harvest is low
2.           COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE
This is a type of agriculture where the farmer cultivates mainly for sale and to make profit
CHARACTERISTICS OF COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE
1.   It requires large areas /size of farm land
2.   The farmer makes use of hired and skilled labour
3.   Output /yield is very high
4.   It involves a lot of money
5.   Modern implements are used

PROBLEMS OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
Agriculture in Nigeria has not developed beyond the level at which it is now because of some problems militating against its development which include:-
1.   Inadequate land/land tenure system:  As a result of increase in population the amount of land available for farming (Commercial Farming) has drastically reduce. This is because the land is used in building houses, schools, road hospitals etc, for the increasing population. This has reduced agricultural production.
2.   Inadequate Finance/Credit Facilities: Majority of the farmer do not have the huge amount of money that is required for commercial farming and it is difficult to get loan from the banks because of the high interest rate which is not profitable for agriculture and the collateral security that is required. So farmers now practice subsistence farming which makes it difficult to provide enough agricultural produce for the nation.
3.   Poor Transportation Network: Farmers find it difficult to transport their produce from the point of production (farm) to the point of sale because of poor transportation network. The roads that link the farm to the market are bad, only few transporters can afford to ply these roads. Therefore majority of the produce get spoilt without getting to the market because of poor transportation network.
4.   Poor storage and processing facilities: Farmers sell almost all their produce immediately after production. This is because there are no adequate storage facilities and they cannot be processed into other products because of inadequate processing facilities. This leads to a situation whereby food cannot be made available throughout the year and it results into high prices for the few that is available.
5.   Inadequate farm input:  Most of the farm inputs are imported therefore farmers cannot afford to buy them for use because of the high cost. These had greatly reduced agricultural production; some of these inputs are not available at the right time when they can be used for production.
6.   Inadequate Basic Amenities/Infrastructure: Basic amenities/Infrastructure such as electricity, pipe born water, good road, health care centre, communication facilities e.tc. are not available in the rural areas where agricultural production is taking place. Hence, farmers are moving from rural areas to urban centres which reduces agricultural production.
7.   Poor Marketing System: There is no organized/structure marketing channels for goods that are produced by farmers, middlemen offer low prices at farm gates and they sell at exorbitant prices to consumer thereby making the greater percentage of the profit.
8.   Problems/Outbreak of pests and diseases: There is always outbreak of pests and diseases which farmers find difficult to prevent and control, this leads to loss of crops and animals
9.   Illiteracy: Majority of our farmers cannot read nor write, this drastically affects their production.

10.       Inadequate Extension Work
The ratio of farmers to extension workers is very low and this affects agricultural production.
11.                Inconsistent government policies on Agriculture: Agricultural policies put in place by the government suffer set back whenever new  people comes into power. This set back causes lot of problem for farmers and reduces their productivity.
SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS TO AGRICULTURAL PROBLEMS 
1.   Inadequate Land: Government should enforce the provisions of the land use act of 1978 to help farmers acquire more land.
2.   Inadequate finance and credit facilities:  Government should ensure that loans are given to farm at low interest rate.
3.   Poor Transportation: Government and non- governmental organizations should construct more motorable roads that will link the rural areas to the urban centres and maintain the existing ones.
4.   Inadequate processing facilities: Government and able non-governmental organization should provide storage and processing facilities for farmers use either free of charge or at highly subsidized rate.
5.   Inadequate Farm Input:  Government and able non-governmental organizations should make farm inputs available to farmers at highly subsidized rate
6.   Inadequate Basic amenities:  Government and able non governmental organizations should provide basic amenities in the rural areas for farmers use.
7.   Poor Marketing System: Government should set up marketing boards to ensure good prices for farm produce.
8.   Problems of Pests and Diseases: Government should strengthen the appropriate agencies for effective control of pests and diseases.
9.   There should be provision of irrigation facilities for use on farmers
10.      Illiteracy: Government should organize adult literacy programme for the farmers so that they will be able to read and write.
11.      Problems of Extension Workers:  More extension workers should be employed by the government so as to guide farmers in their production.

ROLES OF GOVERNMENT IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT 
1.   Provision of financial assistance such as loans, subsidy, insurance.
2.   Establishment of farm settlement scheme and other agricultural programmes e.g. operation feed the nation (OFN), green revolution River basin development Authority.
3.   Provision of farm input e.g. tractor hiring unit, improved seeds, fertilizer, agro chemical (pesticides, herbicide, insecticides)
4.   Provision of basic amenities e.g. electricity, health care, water supply, e.t.c
5.   Establishment of effective roads and transportation network,, marketing outlet and quality control measure
6.   Provision of adequate storage facility
7.   Provision of pests and disease control service, vaccination, quarantine control service
8.   Provision of extension services, agricultural education and cooperative

ROLES OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
Non-governmental organizations play important roles in increasing agricultural production through research. They go into research and come up with new discoveries which will be an improvement on whatever has been on ground, such discoveries include: new farming ideas, new varieties of crops, new breeds of animals, new ways of prevention and control of pests and disease of crops and animals.
Some of them major on single crop (a particular crop) while others research on two or three crops. Some equally major on livestock. Some of the organizations and their aims are as follow:-
1.   West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA): It was established in 1971 with the headquarters in cote d voire. Its aim is to increase rice production.
2.   International Institution For Tropical Agriculture (IITA): It was established in 1967 with the headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria and other sub-station in West Africa sub-region. The objective is to research on crops such as rice, maize, cassava, cocoyam, cowpea, sweet potato and soyabeans.
3.   International Livestock Centre for Africa  (ILCA):  It was established in 1967 with headquarters at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The aims to improve livestock production system in African region.
4.   International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD):  The headquarter is in Rome, Italy. Its aim is to improve and increase food production and the living standard of people in rural area.
5.   International Crop Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics:  it is established in 1972 with headquarters in Hyderabad, India .

ROLE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
The knowledge of science and technology plays an important role in the development and improvement of agriculture in Nigeria. The basic knowledge acquired from the study of science and technology can be applied to solve agricultural problems and improve on the various activities involved in agricultural production such as:
1.   Provision farm tools and machinery such as
Research institutes and location
1.   IITA ( International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Ibadan
2.   NSS (National Seed Services – Ibadan
3.   NCRI (National Cereals research Institute – Badegi and Ibadan
4.   NRCRI (National Root Crop research Institute – Umudike
5.   FURO (Federal Institute of Industrial Research – Oshodi

NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
1.   FAO (Food and agricultural Organisation – Rome
2.   PASCON (Pan – African striga control network – Accra
3.   WARDA (West African Rice Development Agency – Ivory  Coast
4.   ILCA (International livestock Centre for Africa  - Addis Ababa
5.   IFAD (International Fund For Agricultural Development – Rome  
Agric Programmes
1.   ALS             -        Agric Loan Scheme
2.   RBDA         -        River Basin Development Scheme
3.   NAIS           -         National Agricultural Insurance Scheme
4.   GR              -        Green Revolution
5.   OFN            -       Operation Feed the Nation
6.   NALDA        -        National Agricultural Land Development Agency
7.   ADP            -        Agricultural Development Project
8.   DFRRI         -        Directorate of Food, Road and Rural Infrastructure
9.   NAICPS       -        National Accelerated Industrial Crop Production Programme
10.  NADPP        -        National Accelerated Food Production Programme  

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